The Merriam Webster dictionary defines valor as strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness―even personal bravery. The Hebrew word used in Judges 6, khah’-yil, means strength.
So why would the Lord address Gideon as a mighty man of valor when he was just beating wheat? It looks as though he was even hiding while he was doing it. He was not a warrior; he was not a leader; he was a refugee―a war victim―destitute and desperate. So why would the angel of the Lord call this nobody a “mighty man of valor?”
Because God was calling Gideon to more. By using the words “you mighty man of valor,” he was placing a call on Gideon’s life. God was commissioning Gideon.
What do we know about Gideon before the angel visited him at the wine press? Nothing. Look at this: The Lord called Gideon a mighty man of valor before Gideon did any mighty work, before he accomplished any significant deed, before he had done anything important at all.
No Olympic runner is given a medal before he runs across the finish line. No sports team gets the trophy before they score the winning points.
But God does not work like that.
We are told in Matthew 3:17 that when Jesus was baptized, a voice from Heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” Before Jesus had begun His ministry, the Father gave His unconditional blessing. Before Jesus “proved” Himself or publicly accomplished anything, God publicly affirmed Him.
In the same way, the Lord did not first watch Gideon for several years and say, “Aha! I found him! What a great warrior this is. I’ll give him a calling so that I can use his talent to deliver Israel from the Midianites.” No―Gideon was not a mighty warrior who had already proven himself. He was not a great man that the Lord happened to discover. Gideon was a mighty warrior because the Lord was with him. He was a man of valor because that’s what God proclaimed him to be.
Gideon received his life that day. He was given his calling before he picked up a sword or learned how to be a soldier or even knew how to be a man. That day, hidden away on his father’s property, Gideon learned and embraced who he was. He began to understand that he was loved, that he wasn’t alone, and that he had a mission. When the angel called him, he became a man ‒ God’s man. When he finally understood and believed that what God said about him was true, that he was already a man of valor, it transformed his life.
Just as Gideon did not have to accomplish anything before God called him, the same is true of you. The Lord is calling you also. At the moment of salvation when you receive Jesus into your life, God welcomes you into His family. He gives you a new life, He promises you the presence of His Holy Spirit, and He gives you a calling. He gives you something to do in His kingdom, for His purpose. He even gives you the ability to do it, just like He did for Gideon.
Go do it!